Canada's 2017 Renewable Industries Forum deemed a success

By Ron Kotrba | November 02, 2017

The annual policy and networking event of Renewable Industries Canada, the 2017 Renewable Industries Forum, took place at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa in October. The 14th annual event brought more than 100 experts from government, industry and academia together to address Canada’s priorities in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The agenda featured a keynote address from Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna. Throughout his keynote address, Wilkinson underscored the important contribution the renewable fuels and biobased sectors make in meeting Canada’s ambitious climate change commitments under the Paris Accord.

Wilkinson also revealed that Environment and Climate Change Canada intends to release its draft regulatory framework for the proposed federal Clean Fuel Standard in early 2018, with the subsequent publication of final regulations in 2019 when the framework is expected to take effect.

In addition, the province of Ontario announced its approach to increase its Renewable Fuel Standard for Gasoline, and Quebec has announced that it will bring in mandates of 5 percent ethanol and 2 percent biodiesel.

As part of the implementation of the federal CFS, Renewable Industries Canada has proposed an ambitious strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by another 4 megatons. The proposal would see the mandated amount of ethanol blended into Canadian gasoline increased to 10 percent and the biodiesel content of diesel fuel increased from 2 to 5 percent. If enacted, it would have an effect equivalent to removing an additional 1 million cars from the road, bringing the total amount of GHG emission reductions to nearly 9 megatons.

“As the leaders of Canada’s renewable and biobased sectors, we are strongly encouraged by the recognition we received from government and renowned climate changes experts alike about the critical role our domestic biofuels industry plays in combating climate change and driving GHG reductions in the transport sector,” said RICanada Chairman Jim Grey. “We look forward to continuing these discussions about how we can best support Canada’s transition to a thriving low-carbon economy by furthering the standards for renewable fuels.”

The Forum agenda was complimented by a new economic study from Doyletech Corp., titled “Economic Impact Assessment of an Enhanced Biofuels Mandate in Ontario”, which finds significant economic benefits would be realized from increased volume requirements for renewable fuels.

Using Ontario as a case study, the research indicates that an increase to the province’s biofuel mandates from 5 percent ethanol and 4 percent biodiesel to 10 percent ethanol and 5 percent biodiesel would yield a sustained economic impact of nearly $1 billion per year and would lead to the creation of almost 400 additional full-time jobs.

“Canada’s domestic biofuels industry has always been at the forefront of low-carbon fuel and technology,” Grey said. “With the ongoing development of the federal Clean Fuel Standard and many provinces putting climate change and GHG reduction on the top of the priority list, opportunities to expand biofuels use and production have never been more important. As an industry, we are proud of the opportunity the Forum provides to connect like-minded individuals and thought-leaders in our common goal of building a more sustainable future for Canadians.”

Renewable Industries Canada was founded in 1984 as the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. 


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